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What is Media Planning? Essential Guide For Media & OTT Professionals

Media and OTT professionals are frequently confronted with balancing marketing efforts across multiple media channels and assets.

This can make it difficult to effectively track the success of each media marketing technique and its overall influence on the company’s bottom line.

Marketing teams in media outlets, production houses or media agencies may more precisely and holistically assess campaign success to make educated decisions.

These decisions could be about how to enhance performance in the future with a comprehensive media planning strategy or simply to take calculated steps in addressing high churn rate or decreased conversion rates.

We do get queries from marketing professionals who are looking for solutions to some of the most pressing pain points for media professionals.

Some of the major pain points for marketing professionals within the media industry are,

1. Social listening to find out what’s trending and how to harness that within the content Lifecyle management
2. Clarity on insights and performance to figure out loopholes in targeting
3. Strong customer profiling to save up on marketing budget wastage
4. Advanced targeting and segmentation to satisfy every customer profile
5. Marketing segmentation to allot media budget better and personalize messages
6. Cross-channel engagement to drive a holistic outreach approach
7. Loyalty management to make sure churn rate reduces and lifetime value stays high

Can effective media planning solve these pain points within the media industry? Maybe yes. But there are certain factors that need to be considered before investing in media planning.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors to consider while creating a media planning strategy or even while getting it outsourced.

What is Media Planning?

Media planning can be defined as a process through which marketers select where, when, and how often they will run an advertisement in order to maximise engagement and return on investment (ROI) is known as media planning.

The media plan may distribute advertising expenditure and resources across a variety of online and offline platforms, including broadcast, print, paid commercials, video ads, and native content.

To see engagements in today’s competitive media landscape, media professionals must offer customers with the right message, at the right time, on the appropriate channel.

Marketers establish what these “rights” are through media planning.


What is a Media Plan?

An efficient media plan will produce a set of advertising chances that are tailored to a certain audience and fit within the marketing budget of the company.

Marketers frequently consider the following factors when creating a media plan:

Who is the target audience for the advertisement?

How much money do you have set aside for marketing?

What are conversion objectives?

What should be the message frequency?

How can the messages’ reach be tracked?

Experienced media planners, such as Kilowott, undertake media planning objectives for companies operating within the media industry.

To maximise ROI on media spend, media planners must collaborate with media buyers and the client organisation to design a strategy.

Media planners must be well-versed with the organization’s brand and target audience, as well as numerous media outlets and emerging media trends.

Media planning is primarily concerned with developing a strategy, analyzing its effectiveness, and making adjustments, whereas media buying is concerned with putting the strategy into action.

As previously said, the media planner will assess the brand and target audience to decide the best messaging and media mix to use in order to reach consumers in a favorable and powerful way.

What are the benefits of Media Planning?

Modern marketing frequently necessitates the use of various types of media, and a data-driven media plan gives marketers access to unified data across all channels.

This aids in the optimization of campaigns and messaging, as well as the streamlining of the campaign evaluation process.

What are the objectives of Media Planning?

In the media industry, in order to achieve a certain goal, marketing professionals must determine the best combination of commercials.

Their goals are typically aligned with company objectives, such as long-term growth and increased ROI.

To help their respective media organisations achieve these goals, marketers must trust marketing service providers, such as Kilowott, may typically employ a variety of strategies to raise brand awareness, create leads, and drive conversions.

Media Planning vs. Media Buying

Media buying is the practise of purchasing ad spaces across numerous media channels and media platforms, in accordance with, agreed-upon media plans and monitoring campaigns as they run is referred to as media buying.

Phew! Too long.

This entails assessing platform formats and pricing to ensure they align with the strategy, negotiating costs, staying current on media trends, and cultivating connections with counterparts across several channels and platforms.

Some popular tactics used in media buying is:

Bidding by hand
Purchases made directly
Purchases made through a computer programme
Bidding in real time

The plan is created by a media planner. The plan is carried out by a media buyer.

They collaborate to ensure that the correct material is provided to the right people at the right time.

As the name implies, a media buyer is in charge of paid media initiatives. Media buyers must be familiar with the platforms that are utilised to disseminate content, as well as the fees associated with using such channels.

This covers traditional advertising tactics such as outdoor billboards, television, radio, and newspapers, as well as social media and paid search advertising. When a media plan is created, a budget is usually allotted to a media buyer.


How do Media Planners and buyers work together?

At the start of the planning phase, a media planner and a media buyer usually consult.

The planner relies on the buyer’s competence, while the buyer ensures that the plan is carried out as planned.

The buyer’s job is to stay up to date on the cost and availability of paid platforms like search engine ads (pay-per-click or banner ads), website ads, social media ads, and traditional forms of advertising.

Based on the marketing goals, the buyer may also recommend which platform or platforms the planner should use.

The buyer is responsible for placing the material and keeping track of the budget. A buyer may also keep track of critical performance indicators including reach, frequency, audience engagement, conversions, and other relevant information.

The media planner may enlist the help of a content manager or a social media manager to spread content on the organic, or non-paid, side of the campaign. The media buyer’s job on the paid side is to:

Recommend the use of paid advertising.

Purchase advertising space for a specific campaign.

Rates for content delivery should be negotiated.

Assist the content team in adhering to all aesthetic and linguistic rules (especially true for social media ads)

Limit the amount of money you spend on paid search campaigns.

Conduct a campaign analysis to ensure that the effort is cost-effective.

To ensure that all aspects of a campaign are in sync, a media planner and media buyer should continue communication throughout the campaign. For example, if a media buyer discovers that a certain sponsored search keyword has been inefficient, they may redirect spending to another keyword.

The bottom line in the media planner-media buyer connection is that neither can function well without the other’s input, which must be clearly stated.

Media Planning and Marketing

According to eMarketer’s consumer research, the average American spends more than 12 hours each day consuming media in some capacity.

Marketing services providers must devise an effective media strategy to reach customers where they are.

It necessitates a deep understanding of how to use various types of media (digital and traditional).

A media planner must be aware of the platforms that can be used to communicate the message, as well as the associated expenditures.

A well-thought-out media strategy saves time and money while ensuring that information is delivered to the appropriate people at the right time. It also allows an organisation to focus its creative resources on generating content that supports sales, marketing, and brand awareness goals.

What are some Media Planning challenges?

Because there are so many variables to consider, media planning may be difficult, and many people believe that media planning techniques and processes have not evolved in tandem with marketing.

Challenges include but are not limited to are,
Consumer-Level Targeting
In order to decide what types of messages resonate with consumers, the media plan must understand them at a granular level, which necessitates in-depth marketing analytics.

Platform Preference
Brands must also understand which channels and platforms their target audiences use and when they do so.

This will allow them to choose the best media for their advertising. All of this must be done while keeping an eye on the budget and media spend.

Budget-driven media planning
Rather than focusing on client interaction, media strategy continues to be budget-driven. A budget and strategy have limited flexibility to allow marketers to course correct as ads run and new insights are revealed.

Modern media planning necessitates the ability to distribute budgets to diverse channels based on their effectiveness.

Integrating Measurements
With so many online and offline channels, measuring the success of various campaigns side by side to identify which are the most effective and which should be updated has become much more challenging for marketers.

Today’s media planning must adapt to focus on the customer experience, with flexible budgets and real-time, consistent measures that enable in-campaign media plan adjustments.

What is an effective Media Planning process?

Creating a media plan is a complicated process that involves planners to consider both target consumers’ demands and the company’s aims.

When building a media plan, Kilowott for example, follows these stages and considers the following factors. Although, the planning process can differ based on our clients’ requirements.

Step #1 -Define media objectives and goals

It’s tempting to think that the goal is to increase conversions or engagement, but that would be oversimplifying this phase.

Goals may differ per department, or a single campaign may have many aims. Increased revenue, for example, is the purpose of the sales team and sales goals.

However, one of the marketing goals could be to raise brand awareness. The campaign’s principal purpose, as well as its messaging, will be determined by knowing what it is all about.

After establishing clear objectives, we examine market trends and the competitive landscape.

This research will provide insight into where similar brands and aims have found success in the past, allowing for better preparation.

For example, a media company may have depended on email advertising for a long time, but research shows that competitors have had more success with native ads.

This indicates how the organization’s strategy should change.

Of course, our clients’ marketing budgets must be considered when developing goals and objectives for media strategy. Marketers should, however, avoid allocating particular money amounts to certain channels.

Instead, taking a flexible approach to marketing budgeting will allow for optimizations as campaigns go.

Step #2 – Determine The Target Audience

Today’s marketing is focused on providing great consumer experiences.

This means that we must consider individual audience needs when producing messaging and deciding where to display it throughout the media mix.

We first determine which portion of the total audience they are attempting to reach.

We then look at attribution measurements and engagement data to figure out what types of ads these users respond to, which creative is most effective, and, most importantly, which channels they use.

We consult demographic data such as age, geography, general interests, and so on (they should also include person-level data collected using a unified measuring method) to get the most personalised results.

Step #3 – Consider Frequency & Reach

Another important aspect of a media strategy is to think about reach and frequency. The term “reach” refers to how many people the campaign will reach over a given period of time.

The number of times a consumer will be exposed to an advertisement over the course of a campaign is referred to as frequency.

When it comes to frequency, we use a few different tactics.

Continuity: With this strategy to frequency, commercials will appear on a consistent timetable throughout the campaign, such as two ads per week.

This method is frequently utilized for non-seasonal commodities that need to be reinforced on a daily basis to stay front of mind.

Internment or alternating intervals of adverts followed by pauses in advertising on the channel are referred to as “flights.”

This method is ideal for seasonal products or those with a limited advertising budget. When a flighted television campaign comes to a halt, for example, advertisers may opt to run print advertising instead.

Pulsing is a technique that combines flighting and continuity. Pulsed campaigns will include low-intensity, consistent advertising that will be supplemented with flights of higher-intensity commercials during periods when additional messaging can make a big difference.

Step #4 – Examine and Improve Campaign Results

Continuously monitoring, tracking, and analyzing performance is one of the most crucial elements in developing a media planning strategy. Marketing efforts are not “set-and-forget,” but rather require continual management in order to achieve optimal ROI.

This hands-on approach enables teams to spot chances for real-time performance optimization based on what is and isn’t working for each campaign.

Are your advertising efforts being wasted? Let’s have a chat, shall we?

Which are the other types of Media channels for Media Planning?

We choose from a number of online and offline channels, and they must use the information obtained throughout the research and goal-setting processes to determine which channels will bring them the most success.

Here are some of the most popular channels used for crafting a media strategy, as well as their characteristics.

Offline Media

Magazines have a lengthy shelf life and are frequently kept in the possession of consumers for two to four weeks after they have been read.

Because people read faster than they can listen, information in this medium is more likely to be recalled.

According to studies, magazine advertisements have a higher level of trust than other kinds of media (60 percent of readers trusted the advertisements they saw in magazines).

Consumers are also less resistive to these types of ads because they frequently relate to their interests.

Publications are usually extremely specific (e.g., running magazines or cooking magazines). Because they are sent along to family and friends, they reach a secondary audience in addition to the primary audience.

Using local newspapers to advertise a brand’s message is a terrific method to keep it local.

Marketers can choose which area of the newspaper ads are put for enhanced targeting when using this media. If they want to target those who are interested in fashion, they can place their ad in that part of the newspaper.

Newspaper readers are also more likely to have a higher degree, with 7 out of 10 households earning $100,000 or more reading the newspaper.

When choosing ad space based on demographics, this can be crucial.

Radio advertisements appeal to a local audience, allowing you to target certain areas or sections of the country.

It is also a low-cost media that makes it simple to create frequency with your target audience. According to studies, the time between hearing a radio commercial and making a purchase is the shortest of any medium.

Additionally, overall advertisements were more effective when combined with other forms of media.

Online Media

Many digital publications offer the option of sending a tailored email or newsletter to their database.

They can keep track of open rates and conversion rates for your site or asset. These are frequently specialist magazines that make it simple to reach your target demographic and are excellent lead creation tools.

Pay-per-click (PPC): Advertisers can profit on search intent. Advertisers can retarget visitors to their websites. PPC is a very cost-effective method of advertising.

Social media, like PPC, is a very cost-effective tool. It’s also incredibly personalized, allowing advertisers to target customers based on their interests, age, marital status, and other factors.

Social platforms are built on the concept of community, allowing your company to connect with customers on a more personal level. It also increases the likelihood that your brand’s content will become viral.

Programmatic advertising is highly focused advertising that uses an algorithm to locate and target specific audiences across many digital media.

There are two approaches to consider while investigating this:

Demand-side platforms are used to buy ads on the digital market based on the desired audience.

Advertisers can bid on impressions to reach their target audience in real time. If their bid is successful, the ad is immediately displayed.

Kilowott’s Pointers For Media Strategy

We encourage our clients to keep the following concepts in mind as they develop new media strategies:

Choose outlets and hours that will reach your target audience the most effectively.

Purchasing ad space during a live televised event (such as a sporting event) ensures that viewers will watch the programme in its entirety rather than skipping advertisements.

Set clear objectives: Is this a lead generation effort or a branding campaign? How many people do you want to reach out to?

How can you get people to talk about your product or service? Ascertain that the creative team has a good understanding of what will resonate with this target audience’s demographics and viewing.

Make sure you have a mechanism to evaluate the effectiveness of your creativity.

Make sure your team is using a marketing attribution approach that can track both offline and online media successfully. When it comes to media planning, the correct attribution model can ensure that your team is making rational decisions.

Struggling with the above? Relax! Let’s have a chat and get your marketing strategies sorted.

What are some key Media Planning strategies?

Investigating media planning tactics can assist marketers in selecting the most appropriate media platforms for delivering a message to a targeted audience.

The following is a rundown of some key factors we consider while putting together a media plan through our marketing services.

1. Choosing Appropriate Media Channels

When it comes to choosing the channel or channels to share a piece of content, we do have options.

Channels are digital or traditional platforms that deliver content to users.

TV, radio, and print advertisements are examples of traditional channels. Social media, websites, email, and other online platforms are examples of digital channels.

The channel we choose will always be focussed on your target audience.

Users are attracted to channels based on their age, gender, socioeconomic levels, and other demographic characteristics.

A business-to-business (B2B) audience, for example, would be more likely to be found on LinkedIn, where companies and employees engage on a professional level.
A business-to-consumer (B2C) audience, on the other hand, might be found on YouTube or Instagram.

2. Determining the Relevant Timeline

What factors influence a media campaign’s timeline?

It is determined by the product/service, message goals, target audience, and event calendar.

A media project plan is required to create the media campaign timeframe and to determine what assets are required to support the campaign.

It’s a good idea to start at the end when assessing resource requirements. When is the best time to publish (or when should you publish)?

With this in mind, we are free to plot the tasks required to complete the task.

Every aspect of the approach must be given enough time to mature. If we predict a large quantity of market research, for example, many days should be made out for that component of the plan.

The involvement of each stakeholder must be considered and factored into the timeframes associated with each stage.

Communication is critical. Every person participating in the plan’s execution should be able to express setbacks or ask pertinent questions as they arise.

3. Coordinating the Channel Mix

Only one channel is rarely included in a media strategy.

Most campaigns will include at least two — and possibly several more — to guarantee that the material reaches as many people as possible.

However, we ensure that the message is consistent across all mediums.

Channels can be complimentary when used correctly. A long-form profile of a person, for example, can be paired with a short-form video featuring an interview with the subject.

To increase reach, the video and long-form content may be combined in a blog post, or they could be distributed independently on other social media sites.

This is especially true for social media platforms. If a message is relevant to a variety of audiences, it’s critical to distribute it on platforms that those people use. A smartphone app with broad appeal, for example, might be advertised on TikTok to appeal to younger audiences and on LinkedIn to appeal to business-minded professionals.

To minimize contradictory messages across platforms, we suggest our clients to consider the timing and tone of these advertising.

4. Taking Advantage of Audience Targeting

The process of identifying who to share a message with and how to locate them is known as audience targeting.

We start audience targeting by creating buyer personas, which are fictionalized versions of the individuals they want to attract.

Once a company has defined its target personas, it will be easier to select the best marketing platform to reach the target population.

Age, gender, job, shopping habits, interests, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and personal or professional aspirations are all used to create personas.

This information can be compiled using a template that integrates original research into an existing client base, or it can be acquired using Google Analytics.

Determining which media platforms the real people the persona represents use is a crucial part of persona development.

Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all have audience segmentation tools that break down demographic information about its users so that they can be targeted more precisely.

5. Setting Reach and Frequency Goals

The reach, which is closely related to frequency, is another crucial element in a media plan.

As previously mentioned, reach refers to the number of viewers, readers, or listeners who are exposed to the content.

The number of times they are likely to view or hear the piece of content during a given period of time is known as frequency, also known as impressions.

When examining media plan alternatives, marketers must establish what they want to achieve through reach and frequency.

Reach and frequency are usually determined by how much money is spent to magnify the message.

Occasionally, a piece of content will go “viral” on its own, without the help of an ad buy. However, because those instances are uncommon, a media plan must account for the amount of money required to get the material in front of the correct audience.

Advertising dollars are spent on social media networks like LinkedIn and Facebook based on the amount of users who will see the content.

The advantage of this type of advertising over traditional media such as an outdoor billboard or a magazine ad is that it allows advertisers to target specific audiences.

6. Choosing a Voice

The tone employed to convey a message is referred to as the “voice” of a piece of information. In written literature, it is determined by elements such as word choice and sentence length.

Color and shape are used in visual media to communicate “voice.”

People respond to genuine messaging, thus the tone of a piece of content is crucial.

Consumers are astute; they recognise when they are being sold something. The gut reaction is to reject messages that appear or sound fake or irrelevant.

What is the process of obtaining an authentic voice?

As previously mentioned, it begins with the creation of personalities.

Determining aspects such as education level, career, and personal hobbies is a crucial part of buyer persona construction.

We try to catch the vernacular of different parts of the audience in a pitch-perfect voice are more likely to succeed with their media campaigns.

How does Kilowott develop a Media Plan?

A well-thought-out media strategy guarantees that the material is best positioned to fulfil the purpose for which it was generated.

We are sailing without a rudder if we don’t have a well-thought-out media strategy.

Success, if it occurs, is more of a question of chance than of meticulous execution.

Definition of the goal, identification of channels, research of your target audience, and budget preparation are all part of effective media planning.

We determine the best media planning strategies after assessing the best media planning techniques.

Starting with market research, here’s a rundown of the steps of how we create a media plan.

1. Conduct Market Research

Before we can set a target, make an editorial schedule, or generate a piece of content, we need to know a few things about the media producers or media distributors who consume or purchase their product or service.

This necessitates market research, which is the first stage in putting together a media strategy.

Market research shows buyer persona features such as age and other demographics.

It contains data on purchasing behaviour and personal preferences. It instructs content creators what tone to use, which platforms to use to reach potential customers, and what kind of material to create.

In a nutshell, market research is the foundation of the strategy. It should be thoroughly carried out and updated on a regular basis depending on testing results and client feedback.

2. Clarify the Objective

It’s nearly hard to produce an effective marketing asset — whether it’s an ad, a blog post, a video, a static image, or anything else — without first determining why the asset is required.

Every component of the content will be shaped by the purpose.

Thought leadership: Demonstrate or explain to a user why the company and its employees are experts in the industry.

Information: Give users data or history they can use in their professional or personal lives.

Lead generation: Demonstrate how a product or service might be useful to a pool of potential clients.

Provide a way for a potential customer to actively seek further information or establish a long-term relationship with the company through lead conversion.

Content producers can construct their work with purpose and direction if they establish the goal or goals ahead of time.

It speeds up the creative process and cuts down on the amount of time spent on revisions. Time spent early on determining the endgame saves time later on.

3. Identify the Target Audience

Audience targeting is “the practise of splitting consumers into segments based on interests and demographic data,” according to HubSpot.

Age, income, interests, gender, geographic region, and purchasing behaviours are examples of segment characteristics.

The basic goal of segmenting is to guarantee that the message reaches the intended audience. The “right people” are individuals who are most likely to buy or use the offered goods or service.

Here are a few pointers on how to effectively target your audience:

Analyze the data – Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms offer in-depth analyses of consumer data such as geographic location, websites visited, and personal and professional interests.

Use these resources to discover more about customers who have already expressed an interest in the company.

Focus groups and surveys should be conducted. Invite current users and consumers to take part in fact-finding sessions, or utilize surveys to ask questions about why people use goods the way they do.

A/B comparison – Testing how people react to various sorts of material might help you figure out what works and what doesn’t.

An A/B test compares two versions of the same content, such as an advertisement with the same words but different visuals. The better-performing version can be reproduced, while the other can be adjusted or used in additional testing.

4. Establish a Budget

When building a media plan, every possible cost must be considered. Display advertising, social media ad placement, sponsored social media posts, paid search engine ad placement, influencer marketing expense, and other expenses may be required for a campaign.

The function of the media buyer is to provide cost estimates for all of these goods. This information is then used by the media planner to find the most cost-effective ways to develop and distribute content.

A marketing campaign might be derailed by unplanned or hidden expenditures. We encourage our clients to set aside money for “emergency” expenses including fees, commissions, tests, and other unforeseen expenses.

Jonas Bocarro
Jonas Bocarro

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